Importance of front toe landing in line with serve target.

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I've been trying to understand why Tsistipas doesn't get as much out of his serve as I think he should, and one thing that sticks out is how much his front foot finishes pointed to the left on the follow through.

The all-time great servers tend to have have that front toe landing much more in line with the serve direction.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I would say it's moderately to fairly important. But not absolutely. Many, if not most, elite servers will land with the front foot pretty much aligned toward the target area. Some decent servers are a little bit off from this. But not much.

But Stefanos T is definitely skewed way too much. As a rec player (or pro), I would definitely try to correct anything this extreme if possible. An elite doubles player or any S&V attempt would have the foot aligned more or less.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Stefanos' back leg also kicks in the wrong direction when landing. It should kick straight back.

Stefanos is over-rotating his hips & lower body. It should uncoil earlier in the service motion but then stop (at contact?). The upper torso should continue to uncoil somewhat after contact -- but not the lower body.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I was actually watching videos of ST serving last night. I was astounded at how much he rotated to the left after his serve. I had not realized it was as bad as it is. It looks like he is headed over to the bench / seat to take a break.

Has he always done this?
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
I was actually watching videos of ST serving last night. I was astounded at how much he rotated to the left after his serve. I had not realized it was as bad as it is. It looks like he is headed over to the bench / seat to take a break.

Has he always done this?
For ST, his right hip is just not adding any power to his serve whatsoever. There is a good early load, but then it basically evaporates from lack of momentum.

It would be interesting to see how Stef did on "hit the ball on the rise" Goran style of serve!
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
I was actually watching videos of ST serving last night. I was astounded at how much he rotated to the left after his serve. I had not realized it was as bad as it is. It looks like he is headed over to the bench / seat to take a break.

Has he always done this?
That was one of the first things I noticed about him when I first started watching him more regularly. A lot of strokes in general feel a tad off, but it's his serve that seems to have actual technical deficiencies.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
I've been trying to understand why Tsistipas doesn't get as much out of his serve as I think he should, and one thing that sticks out is how much his front foot finishes pointed to the left on the follow through.

The all-time great servers tend to have have that front toe landing much more in line with the serve direction.
yes. Fully agree. I've also heard that he flexes his pinky toe too much. Especially on the ad servers. :rolleyes:
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
yes. Fully agree. I've also heard that he flexes his pinky toe too much. Especially on the ad servers. :rolleyes:
The pinky toe flex is a "tell". If you study it closely, you can tell what type of serve he intends to hit and where he intends to hit it
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
There are two separate issues here:
Does the over-rotation and falling to the left affect his recovery and put him out of position for the next shot?
Does the over-rotation actually affect the quality of his serve?
:unsure:
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
A coach just told me that tossing arm has to be also aligned with the target...
Fire that coach. Many elite servers will lift the tossing arm, more or less, parallel to the baseline. Other top servers lift the arm at some intermediate (diagonal) angle. Perhaps 30° to 45° wrt the BL.

Servers who lift the tossing arm in the direction of the target area will typically get insufficient coil for their serve. Lifting the arm in this direction does not normally allow for an adequate rotation of the torso -- unless the toss is unusually high.
 

Fintft

Legend
Fire that coach. Many elite servers will lift the tossing arm, more or less, parallel to the baseline. Other top servers lift the arm at some intermediate (diagonal) angle. Perhaps 30° to 45° wrt the BL.

Servers who lift the tossing arm in the direction of the target area will typically get insufficient coil for their serve. Lifting the arm in this direction does not normally allow for an adequate rotation of the torso -- unless the toss is unusually high.
On the other han J toss is erratic.

That coach was a runner up in the Romanian juniors and has coached champions,
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
On the other han J toss is erratic.

That coach was a runner up in the Romanian juniors and has coached champions,
Seems to be a misconception of what the J toss is. A diagonal toss and a BL parallel toss are both possible without a J-toss motion. Of modern servers, only Andy Murray comes to mind as someone who has something close to a J-toss. Most other modern servers do not.

Lifting the tossing arm in the direction of the target area is very old school. Even older than the J-toss (taught by Vic Braden in the '70s and 80s).

Marius Copil lifts his arm between 30° and 45° wrt the BL. Big server. Cirstea is about 45° while Halep is closer to 60°. However, Simona has a fairly high toss which allows her to get a pretty decent coil.

A player like Wawrinka, who lifts in the direction of his target area, gets very minimal coil for his service motion. Probably a significant factor in his history of shoulder problems in the past decade.
 

Fintft

Legend
Lifting the tossing arm in the direction of the target area is very old school. Even older than the J-toss (taught by Vic Braden in the '70s and 80s).

A player like Wawrinka, who lifts in the direction of his target area, gets very minimal coil for his service motion. Probably a significant factor in his history of shoulder problems in the past decade.
Thanks!

To the former: maybe it works better for beginners and intermediate players though?

To the later: Good counter argument, if it holds water...
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Thanks!

To the former: maybe it works better for beginners and intermediate players though?

To the later: Good counter argument, if it holds water...
Some coaches allow a straight ahead toss at the beginning for novice / low int servers. I do not.

I will usually teach a diagonal toss, 30° to 45°, to most novice & intermediate students. (Some intermediates can implement a parallel toss successfully). I avoid teaching them a straight ahead toss at the beginning only to have them need to relearn a different tossing pattern later. Some will get stuck in the same pattern that they start with. They find old habits tough to change if they've done it one way for too long.

With a diagonal toss, players do not need a very high toss to achieve more coil on the serve. The diagonal or parallel toss will promote some coil from the very beginning. Many intermediate players will work on adding more coil to their serve. If they are already using a diagonal toss (or parallel toss), this should help to facilitate learning a serve with somewhat more coil.

For players with a large diagonal angle, like Halep's 60° (plus) tossing angle, the toss would need to be pretty high to be able to incorporate or add more coil in the future. For this reason, I usually encourage starting with 30° to 45°. Many students can master the latter.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Thanks!

To the former: maybe it works better for beginners and intermediate players though?

To the later: Good counter argument, if it holds water...
If I ever have a novice student lifting the tossing arm toward the target area, this is something we do only for a very short time.

The toss can be very difficult to control/place for many people. Regardless of direction. I want to avoid having a student struggle with tossing in one direction (toward the target) and then having them struggle tossing in a different direction later on in their development. That is why I go with a 45° or so from the onset for most.
 
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